In modern times, it is certainly true that yoga has rapidly increased in popularity – going from a more fringe pursuit, to being at the forefront of the modern health and wellbeing movements.
One popular pose within yoga is the airplane pose – something that has numerous benefits for health, wellbeing, and flexibility. But what exactly is it, and what does it entail?
“Airplane” Pose: What Is It?
Within yoga, airplane pose is an advanced standing balancing pose designed to benefit the reflexes, the balance, and flexibility of the practitioner.
Otherwise known as ‘dekasana’, airplane pose has many benefits to the mental, emotional, and physical health – making it one of the most popular poses for newbies and veterans of yoga alike.
What Areas Does It Focus On?
The airplane pose is beneficial for many muscle groups in the body, including:
- The core (abdominal muscles)
How To Do Airplane Pose
Of course, when it comes to airplane pose, there are certain steps you should follow to ensure you are doing it correctly. It is always important to follow the instructions closely – not only to ensure you are doing it right, but also to make sure that you do not injure yourself during the process.
To begin, stand in the mountain pose, opening your chest to the front, and ensuring that your back is perfectly straight. Be sure to keep your arms close to your sides, and your shoulder blades pulled back.
Next, slightly bend your knees, being sure to inhale as you do so, before lifting your right leg behind you while keeping your left leg rooted.
Once you have completely stretched your leg back, be sure to straighten the knees on both legs, and ensure that the toes of the left foot are facing forward.
Once you have done this, bring your hands to the center of your chest, and use them as a source of balance. You should then pause and focus on the balance.
Once you have found your balance, reach your arms back towards your sides so that they resemble the wings of the airplane.
How Long Should This Be Held For?
To get the most benefit from this pose, be sure to only hold the position for 3-5 breaths at a time, before switching to the opposing side of the body and repeating the process.
You can always increase the duration of the pose as you progress, but it is important for beginners especially to be cautious about injuring themselves.
What Are The Benefits Of Airplane Pose?
Of course, as with all poses in yoga, there are specific benefits attributed to airplane pose. These include:
- Toning the leg muscles
- Hips, arms, shoulders, and neck muscle strengthening
- Improved breathing and deepened lung capacity
- Engagement of core muscles, and enhancement of abs
- Improved digestive function (generation of internal heat)
- Fat burning potential
- Bodily muscle toning
- Building endurance, strength, and stability
- Good for avoiding sciatica
- Increase general awareness, focus, and concentration
What Precautions Should Be Taken?
As with any advanced yoga pose, there are certain precautions that should be taken during the procedure.
Those with back problems should use caution while performing this pose, or indeed should undertake it with the supervision of an expert practitioner.
High Blood Pressure
If the practitioner has high blood pressure, then it is better to avoid this pose completely. This is due to the stress that it places on the body, and the amount of heat it generates.
Those who suffer from neurological conditions – such as vertigo or spondylitis – should avoid this pose, as looking down to the ground might cause them to experience dizziness.
This can obviously result in accidents or injury if the person falls over.
Those with leg injuries should also refrain from engaging in airplane pose. This is due to the amount of stress that the pose puts on the legs, which could exacerbate certain injuries and conditions if they are not properly healed at the time of practice.
Those who are pregnant should avoid this pose, as the need for balance – and the risk of losing the balance – could result in all manner of unwanted problems.
It’s true that yoga has become more and more popular in recent decades – with countless people becoming aware of the numerous benefits that the practice can have to physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. What’s more, there have never been so many resources to help you learn all the basics.
So if you want to give airplane pose a try, then be sure to follow these steps!